Ronan is pure class

Ronan McCarthy from Kircubbin, County Down is the new 2011 Northern Ireland Men's Blackball Champion.

From a field of over 100 players in the luxurious Lodge Hotel in Coleraine he swept all before him in a fantastic display of Pool at it's very best. From 10:00am on the Sunday morning to 11:30pm that night he stayed consistent to lift the trophy and £550 winners prize

Gary Clarke from Ballymena was Ronan's opponent in the final. Gary had played so well all day, including coming from 2-5 down in his Semi Final to win 6-5 with 3x 8 ball clearances out of the 4 frames. He gave it his all in the final but wasn't helped by 4 dry breaks. Gary received £300 and the Runners Up trophy for his valiant efforts

Pictured right McCarthy receives his prizes from the NIPA's Pauline Lynch and below Runner Up Clarke receives his.

The Final as it happened

Frame 1 - Ronan won the lag and opted to break. It was the right decision as he potted 7 yellows and the black with Gary still in his seat.
Frame 2 - Gary breaks dry. It was his only shot as Ronan runs them all out
Frame 3 - Ronan pots 2 yellows off the break, opts for reds but leaves his penultimate ball hanging over the jaws. Gary takes out a pressure clearance to reduce the arrears to 1-2
Frame 4 - A dry break from Gary again, and another 8 ball clearance from Ronan.
Frame 5 - 7 ball clearance from Gary under pressure to keep well in the match at 2-3
Frame 6 - Same as frame 4. Gary dry and 8 in a row from Ronan as he opens up a 2 frame lead in the race to 6.
Frame 7 - Tactical frame but Ronan always had the upper hand and eventually took it to be on the hill at 5-2.
Frame 8 - An in off from Gary early frame (the only foul in the whole match) looked like giving Ronan the title but a rare miss let Gary in again and he showed nerves of steel to clear the table and keep the match alive at 3-5
Frame 9 - It's all over, Ronan sinks the last black ball of the day to become the NIPA 2011 Northern Ireland Blackball Champion

Results from last 16 onwards
Hugh Regan 5-3 Dean McAleese, Damien Reid 5-1 Alan Tosh, Dee Irwin 5-0 Ellis Martin, Gary Clarke 5-0 Michael Wilson, Ryan Foster 5-0 John McCallister, Raymond Stockman 5-4 Bill McIlroy Jr, Tommy Morrow 5-0 Barry McClements, Ronan McCarthy 5-1 Darren Sterrett
Last 8
Damien Reid 5-2 Hugh Regan, Gary Clarke 5-0 Dee Irwin, Ryan Foster 5-3 Raymond Stockman, Ronan McCarthy 5-2 Tommy Morrow
Last 4
Gary Clarke 6-5 Damien Reid, Ronan McCarthy 6-0 Ryan Foster
Ronan McCarthy 6-3 Gary Clarke

The NIPA would like to thank Coleraine Pool League for the use of the tables and the Staff and Management of the Lodge Hotel